Happy New Year! Even though the daylight hours are increasing at this time of year, there is still more dark than light. Sometimes all this darkness affects our moods and motivation to do anything. This poem by Jan Richardson spoke to me about the light that is on its way, but also how we can think about its coming in its many forms. I hope the writing prompts at the end will give you a chance to reflect on the many ways light comes into your lives.

How the Light Comes
Jan Richardson

I cannot tell you
how the light comes.
What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out what is hidden,
what is lost,
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body,
for finding its way
toward flesh,
for tracing the edges
of form,
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape you did not foresee.

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still
to the blessed light
that comes.

© Jan Richardson from her website: http://adventdoor.com/2011/12/21/christmas-day-how-the-light-comes/

What is a light in your life and how do you access it?
Shine a light on something hidden, lost or forgotten, and write about what you find.
How has light sought you out and awakened you to something new?

December can be a busy, hectic month with various holidays falling throughout. Some people may be looking forward to a particular holiday, while others dread the emotional ups and downs that sometimes accompany days that are set aside for joy and happiness. However you approach a holiday, it can be tiring and way too busy. So, what can we do to slow things down?

Journaling every, or most, days can get your thoughts and concerns down on the page and out of your head. It can clarify what you really want to do and maybe what you can bypass. If you just have to do something you don’t want to do, it can help you make peace with it. Think about the following writing prompts and answer one or all of them to help make your holidays more joyful.

What December holiday draws you in, and how can you stay calm and peaceful throughout the days and weeks leading up to it? And get through it? Hint: schedule some enjoyable activities that don’t involve the holiday that you really like to do. What are those activities?

What makes you happy about this holiday? Be sure to savor those thoughts.

Write about a memorable time from the past regarding this holiday, and enjoy it all over again.

I’ve been thinking about the stories I tell myself and wonder if any of them are connected to what my life is about inside or out. We all live our lives in stories, many of them only perceived reality. When examined, they don’t match how we are living day by day. Often, they aren’t really the truth, but something we make up in our heads while trying to make sense of the world we live in. They may make us more comfortable, even the negative stories, because we understand them and know what to expect. Maybe it’s time to just experience life without the accompanying stories. Can we do that? I’m not sure.

Which stories are you embracing right now? Do they match the truth?

Are there any stories that you are avoiding or struggling with? How can you resolve the issues you have with them?

If you have any aha’s or any other thoughts, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Today begins our writing relationship. I look forward to meeting you and hearing what you have to say. I will be posting many types of writing prompts: poetry, journaling, meditation, writing from pictures and whatever else I can think of or what I hear from you that you’d like to write to. I may try out some of my new poems on you, to get your feedback, and I’d like to read yours, too. This will be an ongoing journey, and it will evolve as we walk down this path together.

Read more